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By Forrest Hershberger
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An Inheritance


April 13, 2022 | View PDF

Several years ago, a radio commentator said “you are where you are because you choose to be there.”

I wanted to argue the point. Sometimes we are where we are because we choose not to be somewhere else. The social or work environment changes to prompt a move, or for those who just have a wanderlust, always curious what is beyond the next horizon, it is time to move on to new adventures.

However, in defense of the comment, the move is a choice, a choice not to stay where you are.

More recently, a friend of mine commented that what if prophecies about end of days is a warning of what will happen if we don’t change our ways. Maybe the comment isn’t too far off, but is the flip side of the prophecies. Governments are ultimately run by ourselves, members of the human race. Some are more drunk on the power and control than others. A rare breed enters focused on a limited time, as a servant leader.

I read another quote that needs to be considered. In the sixth chapter of Luke’s account in the New Testament, it says a tree will be known by its fruit. A thorn bush does not produce fruit, and so on. It refers to the moral values seen in the way a person acts. A person’s behavior is ultimately a reflection of what is in his heart.

I ran across a quote from the Roman philosopher Virgil.

“Your descendants shall gather your fruits.”

So to follow the thought that a tree is known by its fruits, each generation will reap what the previous planted. We have the social standards resulting from previously “planted trees.” The values we accept today, no matter how small, will be influence how we live in future generations.

Values don’t usually change in a moment, short of a revolution and a threat of death or incarceration. Short of that, or someone who lives the perfect life beyond doubt, changing social values can be like u-turning a truck in a parking lot. It can be done, but it takes several smaller turns in succession. The values we accept, or at least think are OK, become part of bigger values in the next generation; and so on.

Benjamin Franklin is said to have commented to a woman after he came out of the Continental Congress when she asked what kind of government we have. His response: a republic, now if you can keep it.

The challenge is always to keep our morals, social values, moving in the right direction once they are set. Regardless if they slip back, or become more solid, they will be passed on to the next generation.


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